Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cerme Cave - Bantul, Indonesia

The Crew

Mini waterfall

Watch out for the bats!

Last Saturday I went “caving” or whatever you call walking through a long 1,200 meter cave.  I met up with a friend of a friend who was leading a group to Cerme Cave in Bantul, a town 40 minutes outside of Yogyakarta.  We all met up in Yogya and followed each other with our motorbikes.  Driving there, I past breathtaking scenery; lush rice fields, mountains and banana trees.  We arrived 45 minutes later at the village leader's house.  He was in charge of the small mountain village community where the cave is located.  We left our bikes with him and headed to the cave,  it was about a 15 minute walk to the cave entrance. 

Before entering the cave our guide handed us bike helmets.  Walking in the cave I was sporting a bike helmet with a flimsy visor and a headlamp.  Entering the 1,200 meter long cave, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The water level on average was about 2 feet high.  At times we were crawling with the water level up to our shoulders.  In the two hours we were in the cave we saw a lot of bats, some sort of cricket creature and lots of cool mud/mineral deposit formations.  We even saw a low pressure waterfall.  I guess during the rainy season the water pressure is pretty intense. 

It was a great adventure, there was not technical experience or risk involved, as long as you are not claustrophobic!  You could walk through the cave in about an hour but we took our time.  The water was refreshing and relatively clean.  At times the cave was narrow and cramped, the helmet was a good call.  It wasn’t a necessity, but it let me focus more on keeping my camera out of the water rather than bumping my head. 

When we emerged from the cave (a different exit point than the entry point) we walked back to the village chief’s place and enjoyed  a nice lunch.  We had  rice, tempe, tofu, tea and fresh veggies.  I contributed sour cream Pringles J.


Holly said...

What an AMAZING cave! Those rock formations are the weirdest I've ever seen - very sensual - almost Georgia O'Keefe like. I noticed those crickets were lacking in color - must be from never seeing the light of day. You took some great photos - good job.
And the bike helmet was a nice touch :-)

Todd said...

Thanks. I didn't trust myself with my SLR so I brought my point and shoot camera. Unfortunately, there was one camera fatality in our group. It got dunked just for a second and didn't work after that:-(

Locals go in there and meditate.

Todd said...

Oh, I ran into the person who's camera broke. He said after it dried it started working again.

Holly said...

I clicked on the slideshow to make it screen-sized and wow! Even more impressive. It looks like the mud/rock is still oozing, not solid. The pumpkin colors are amazing, esp. since there's no light in a cave. Your point & shoot did a great job (glad the other guy's camera dried out and now works!) I also like that you've lost the facial hair :-) Or was that so bats wouldn't get in it - ha!

Erik said...

Todd the spelunker? Looks pretty awesome, the natural wonders in Indo look intriguing. Oh, and you are a generous man, bringing French Onion Pringles to a local feast.

Katie D said...

so cool Todd-how does it compare to climbing mountains? A new hobby maybe?

Todd said...

This cave was fun and interesting but it felt more like a field trip than an adventure. I would certainly still prefer the climbing of mountains and the post climb beer:-)

I am looking forward to the end of March. Do you think we could squeeze in a 14er as well?

Holly said...

Yes, sour cream Pringles in a cave in Indonesia - Priceless!!